The Board of Trustees of the Concord Community Music School is comprised of community leaders, professionals, and volunteers, all of whom work actively on behalf of the School. We thank all those who help support us in our mission. If you would like more information about the Board of Trustees or advocating for the Music School, please feel free to reach out to us at

Board members, 2022-2023:

Doug Bechtel - chair

Doug Bechtel is the President of NH Audubon, responsible for day-to-day operations, budgeting, and staff management since June of 2016. Previously, Doug was Executive Director at Audubon International, an independent non-profit that helps businesses become more ecologically and economically sustainable. Doug also served as Science Director for the New Hampshire Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, serving on many committees and partnerships guiding regional and state-wide conservation and environmental initiatives. Doug has been a naturalist and birder most of his life, working in such diverse geographies as Southeastern Arizona, the Grand Canyon, northern Minnesota, and throughout New England. Doug holds an M.S. from UVM’s Field Naturalist Program Wildlife Management, and a B.S. in Biology from Grinnell College. He enjoys birding, biking, folk guitar, and cross-country skiing, and is also busy teaching his 10-year-old daughter Myrica two of his passions: music and birds.

Carl Cooley

Carl Cooley - vice chair

Carl Cooley (vice chair) is a retired Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. After 12 years as a primary care pediatrician in Newport, Carl joined the faculty at Dartmouth and directed the Center for Clinical Genetics and Child Development and the Hood Center for Children and Families for ten years before becoming the Chief Medical Officer for the Crotched Mountain Foundation where he continues to serve as a Trustee. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his pediatric training at the University of Michigan. Carl is a board member of the YMCA of Concord and serves on the City of Concord’s Energy and Environment Advisory Committee. He and his wife, Seddon Savage, have lived in Concord since 2004. Sarah, the eldest of three children, also lives in Concord and has been a long-time student at CCMS. Carl enjoys wildlife photography, birding, beekeeping, biking, and the outdoors.

Gary Shirk

Gary M. Shirk - treasurer

Gary M. Shirk (treasurer) came to New Hampshire in 1984 to take a management position at Yankee Book Peddler (YBP Library Services) in Contoocook, where he served in numerous positions including nine years as President and Chief Operating Officer, retiring in September 2008. After working first as a consultant, then as co-owner and Vice President of operations, he became sole owner and President of Bovie Fabrication and Printing, located in Bow, N.H. In 2021 he sold the company to his management team and is now retired. Over the years, he has served on a number of not-for-profit boards of directors, including the United Way of Merrimack County, the Granite United Way, Kimball Jenkins, Inc., and the Board of The New American Baccalaureate Project.

Carmine Tomas

Carmine D. Tomas, Esq. - clerk

Carmine D. Tomas, Esq. (clerk) is principal and co-founder of LT Development LLC, a real estate development and construction management firm that specializes in the development of retail shopping centers. He received his undergraduate degree in English from Middlebury College, and his law degree from the University of Michigan. He lives in Concord with his wife, Margaret, and their three children – one of whom, Lucas, studied and played jazz piano and bass at the Music School. Music always has been a major part of Carmine’s life, and he can still be found spending too many late weeknights catching rock shows in Boston.

Richard C. Simpson, Jr.

Richard C. Simpson, Jr. is Administrative Director of Music on Norway Pond and a Certified Primal Health Coach. He has been an executive of high technology companies, and a senior member of two strategy consulting firms. Prior to his current service with the Music School, he was a trustee for six years and a voice student. He is immediate past chair of Boston’s Cantata Singers, and a member of the vestry of All Saints’ Church in Peterborough, N.H. Rick has sung opera roles with the Boston Lyric Opera and other companies and has been tenor soloist with many regional and local orchestras and choruses, including the chamber orchestra of Monadnock Music and the Monadnock Chorus. He was a New England finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Rick is married to the conductor Johanna Hill Simpson. They have three sons, six grandchildren, one dog, and one cat. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

Jessica Forrest

Jessica Forrest

Jessica Forrest comes to the Music School with experience in strategic planning and marketing communications for mission-oriented business. Earlier in her career, Jessica worked in the science programs of international conservation nonprofits as an ecologist and GIS specialist, providing research and capacity building support to remotely based field programs. Her work took her to places such as the high Himalayas and to eastern and central Africa, fueling her interest in diverse cultures and CCMS’ outreach to New Americans. Jessica is a member of the Concord Energy and Environment Advisory Committee, where she engaged in the strategic planning effort for the city’s 100% renewable energy goal. More recently, she has worked on marketing and stakeholder engagement efforts including the Weatherize Concord campaign and the committee’s Market Days presence. Jessica earned her B.A. from Duke University, M.A. from Columbia University, and MBA from the University of New Hampshire. Jessica and her husband, Adam Pignatelli, are the parents of two energetic boys, who are CCMS students and budding musicians. Jessica studied piano – while listening to extensive opera at home – while growing up.

Kelley Gelinas

Kelley Gelinas

Kelley Gelinas has been with TD Bank for the past 15 years and currently serves as Field Marketing Manager covering New Hampshire and Maine. This includes co-chairing their internal Serving Diverse Communities Resource Group and serving on three other diversity-related committees; LGBTQ2+, Individuals with Disabilities, and Veterans Resource Groups. Kelley is an active community volunteer and currently serves as Board Chair for Special Olympics New Hampshire and Vice President for the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus. She enjoys kayaking, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren, which happily includes introducing them to all genres of music.

Karen Jantzen

Karen M. Jantzen

Karen M. Jantzen has worked in non-profit administration for the past 25 years and serves as the Executive Director of the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. In 2014, she joined the leadership team of Riverbend Community Mental Health where she oversaw Community Wellness Education programming, marketing, public relations, and fundraising as the VP of Community Affairs. Karen credits music therapy for teaching her youngest child how to talk and read. She is also witness to the powerful role music therapy has in treatment plans for children living with serious emotional disturbances and adults living with a serious mental illness. Karen holds a B.A. from Denison University, an M.P.A. from University of New Hampshire, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. She has served on the Boards of Woodside School, St. Andrew’s Church in Hopkinton, and the Northern New England Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals; she currently sits on the board of the American Furniture Masters Institute. Karen has four adult children and resides in Contoocook. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, skiing, and the amazing wonders of nature.

Cathy Yi

Cathy Yi is a physician specializing in pelvic medicine and minimally invasive surgery at Bedford Women’s Care affiliated with Elliot Hospital. She and her husband settled in Concord in 2000 and raised their 2 children who both were students at the Concord Community Music School. Cathy was born in Korea and came to the states in 1973, growing up in New Jersey. She attended SUNY at Stony Brook for undergrad and SUNY at Buffalo for medical school where she met her husband, Gerard who fell in love with New Hampshire camping in the White Mountains. Yoga and cooking are Cathy’s favorite hobbies, and she loves opera, pickleball, Bach and the Beatles. Cathy appreciates music and the joy that it brings her. It is a privilege for Cathy to serve on the board to keep the music playing.

Daniel Acsadi-headshot-small

Daniel Acsadi

Daniel Acsadi (executive director) Dr. Daniel Acsadi joined Concord Community Music School as executive director in May 2022. With two decades of experience in education, music performance, and nonprofit management, Daniel deeply believes in the transformative power of the arts on individual and collective levels. As Powers Music School’s Director of Education and Community Programs, Daniel expanded the school’s offerings through the development of workshop weeks, creative aging initiatives, and a new student certificate program. In his previous role as director of the Boston Classical Guitar Society, Daniel helped revitalize the organization by growing its international concert series, community-building initiatives, and annual ensemble festivals. A sought-after guitar instructor, Daniel has taught at Tufts University, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Bridgewater State University, Powers Music School, and the New School of Music. As an active performer in the New England area, he often highlights original arrangements celebrating the rich musical heritage of Hungary, his country of birth. Daniel received his doctoral and master’s degrees from New England Conservatory while studying with legendary guitarist Eliot Fisk. He graduated from Cornell University with a BA in economics and music. Daniel has also lived in Grosse Pointe (MI), Montréal (Québec), Madison (WI), and Pécs (Hungary).